Flattery, lies and attraction seem ever present for Guyla Krúdy's ghostly Sindbad, but is this love? This brilliant collection of stories, translated by George Szirtes, is a melancholy time capsule from the fading Habsburg empire.
Sindbad is a centuries old ghost who lives in a crypt. It is not clear how he got there, but he is compelled to visit the women he has loved. These stories don't so much have a plot, they all revolve around Sindbad's fascination with and visitation of his former loves. Instead each short communicates various shades of attraction, desire, vanity, lust and despair. They are as poetry.
I particularly enjoyed the tale of Rozina. One moment she loves and can not imagine life without Sindband, the next brutally throws him out. It teaches him to hate mice.
The Adventures of Sindbad (New York Review Books Classics)
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